The Common Black Ground Beetle (coleoptera carabidae pterostichus melanarius)
Common black ground beetle
Common black ground beetle

MORPHOLOGY


The common black ground beetle usually grows to be a few millimeters long to over four centimeters long. They are glossy black and have a reddish-brown color on their legs and antenae. They have noticable ridges in their exoskeleton that distinguish them as the coleoptera carabidae pterostichus. They are long and flattened bugs with narrows heads and large eyes. Small antenaes are attached to their heads and long legs are attached to their abdomin to allow them to run fast, because they are unable to fly. Beetles start out as eggs. The eggs are soft shelled but are semi-permeable to water and air, to allow for proper nourishment. Next, the beetles hatch from their eggs as larvae. The larvae are large, white grubs that are often found curled up, and slimy. The pupae stage is where the larvae incase themselves in a cocoon like structure, this is where the most important changes in the process of becoming an adult beetle occurs. The cocoons will then hatch in the early spring to reveal an adult beetle.
This is the general body structure of a common ground beetle
This is the general body structure of a common ground beetle

HABITAT


The common black ground beetle is most commonly found in woodland areas, on the ground level of the forest. The Pterostichus melanarius perfers to live under fallen, rotting leaves, old and dead logs, and stones. They also like to live in moist areas such as fields and gardens. It cannot be too hot or too cold for the Coleoptera Carabidae Pterostichus Melanarius beetle or the beetle will die. Temperatures must be temperate to warm, especially in the spring, summer, and fall when beetle reproduction is in full swing.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE


There are over 300,000 thousand different species of beetles and each one is specific to a certain area around the world. However, the Coleoptera Carabidae Pterostichus Melanarius likes to live in an environment were the temperatures are temperate and rain fall is plentiful. These beetles can be commonly found in places that fit these requirements. Places like the East and West part of the United States, as well as parts of the Mid -West would host many ground beetles. Some examples are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, New York, parts of Tennessee,Oregon, Nevada and Utah. These beetles aren't only specific to the United States. They originated from northern African, and have been introduced to other parts of the world, such as the Mediterranean region, southern South America, and parts of Australia.
This is a population map of a certain type of ground beetle, the Japanese ground beetle
This is a population map of a certain type of ground beetle, the Japanese ground beetle

MATING BEHAVIOR


While in search of a mate at the beginning of spring, the first job of a ground beetle is to locate its partner. To do this many ground beetles use synthetic chemicals, or pheromones. A pheromones is a special scent used to attract beetles to each other during the mating season. Some beetles use different amino acids or fatty acid synthesis to produce a specific scent. Many ground beetles have mating rituals that must be executed correctly if any mating is to be done. Sometimes, the male or female beetle will vibrate the object that they are on. The male beetle also strokes the females beetles antennae on her head. In some cases, conflicts between male and female beetles occur and they will fight each other until there is only one male and one female left. This ensures that reproduction will occur in the strongest and fittest beetles. Male ground beetles are extremely territorial and will defend the area where their mate has laid eggs. Beetles reproduce sexually, meaning that the sperm gamete fertilizes the egg.
Mating beetles
Mating beetles









LIFE CYCLE


Beetles lay their eggs under soft, moist soil during the spring months. During the summer, the eggs laid by the parent beetle will hatch and produce the larvae. The larvae will live in the ground until it is time for them to encase themselves in a cocoon for the winter. The larvae does not look anything like the adult beetle. Theses large, white, slimy, worm-like creatures have short legs and elongated bodies. While hidden in the ground, the larvae will mainly feed on the cutworms, and other types of ground dwelling, soft shelled creatures until it has become mature enough to prepare for metamorphosis, around the time of late fall when it is starting to become cold. During the winter, the larvae are wrapped in a cocoon-like structure where they appear dormant but are maturing to adult beetles. After the larvae emerge from the cocoon, they are a fully grown adult beetle. Now, the main purpose of the beetles life has changed from eating to reproducing. The newly made beetle will find a mate in the spring months and the cycle will repeat. Beetles will usually live for two to three years after they hatch from their cocoon.
This is the complete life cycle of a ground beetle.
This is the complete life cycle of a ground beetle.

FEEDING HABITS


The common black ground beetle is a hunter that search for their prey, usually invertabrates, and is mainly carnivorous. There are many ways that these beetles catch their pray but the tiger beetle runs down its pray at an astonishing five miles per hour. Ground beetles are nocturnal hunters and hunt by sight due to their large eyes. Also, other types of beetles such as the Promecognathus laevissimus, can counter the poisonous affects of their pray to catch their meals. Ground beetles will immobilize their prey and then eat out the soft interior of the insect.









ECOLOGICAL ROLE


Ground beetles are known to to beneficial organisms because they are known to help peoples gardens. Ground beetles are known for eating harmful insects and animals that can be detrimental to one's garden. The largest animals that the ground beetle can eat to protect your garden are slugs and snails. They also protect gardens against the cutworm, that eats the leaves of many plants. Also, beetles such as the Dung Beetle, are beneficial by making the dung an inhabitable place for parasitic worms. Also, they help fertilize the ground by spreading dung from where it was dropped to other parts of the land. Some plant feeding ground beetles often reduce the amount of weeds that grow in gardens. Beetles are also beneficial as a snack. They have been an ancient food in Egypt for many centuries.










GLOG


http://jbogdan123.glogster.com/Black-ground-beetle/

SOURCES


__http://www.entomology.umn.edu/cues/Web/255Insecta.Coleoptera.Carabidae.pdf__
__http://www.ehow.com/list_6693482_common-black-ground-beetles.html__
__http://www.ehow.com/about_5395067_life-cycle-insect-order-coleoptera.html__
__http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/common_black_ground_beetle.htm__
__http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_beetle__
__http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0502.htm__
__http://skagit.wsu.edu/mg/bugs/Ground%20Beetles.pdf__
__http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beetle#Mating__
__http://maria.fremlin.de/stagbeetles/photos_lc_mt.html__
__http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/beetles/structure/images/beetle%20structure%20web1.jpg__
__http://www.bccranberrygrowers.com/ipm/images/beetle.jpg__
__http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wttpdEmDyIE&feature=player_embedded__
__http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoaHslHi9_Y&feature=player_embedded__
__http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIUrHGmmpOk&feature=player_embedded__`